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Transcript of Roman Empire
Geography of Rome
Located in the center of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea (good for trade and expansion)
Protected by mountains to the north
Inherited Greek culture
Republic: a system of government ruled by elected representatives
Senate: made the laws, were elected by patricians (wealthy landowners)
Plebeians (middle class) elected tribunes to represent them
... US Senate today
Twelve Tables: written law code that protected Roman citizens
"Rule of Law": laws apply to everyone
Ideas we stole from them: "innocent until proven guilty", right to a trial by jury, the idea of contracts
Rome Becomes an Empire
50 BCE- Julius Caesar conquers Gaul (France)
46BCE- Caesar becomes dictator of Rome
44BCE- Caesar assassinated, Augustus becomes first emperor
146 BCE- Rome wins Punic Wars against Carthage (N. Africa)
Life in the Roman Empire
"Pax Romana"=Roman Peace
Offered citizenship to conquered areas
Improved quality of life with roads, aqueducts, and entertainment
Religion in Rome
Decline of the Roman Empire
Citizens were required to worship the emperor and Roman gods
After Romans conquer Jerusalem, Jews are exiled because they refuse to worship anyone but their God.
Rise of Christianity
Many Romans began converting to Christianity, a new religion based on the teachings of Jesus. He was seen as the Messiah, or savior.
His followers, the apostles, spread the word throughout Europe. It caught on quickly because of its appeal to the poor masses (anyone can go to Heaven).
Because they refused to worship the Roman emperor, Christians were persecuted. The death of martyrs, actually caused Christianity to spread more.
Afraid of his growing popularity, the Romans crucified Jesus.
Around 200 AD, Rome started to crumble. This happened for many reasons, including:
In the 4th century, emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and it became the official religion of the empire.
- Weak and corrupt leaders
- Too much land to maintain
- High taxes and prices
- Military decline (use of mercenaries)
- Invasions from barbarian tribes
284AD- Empire is split into two parts (East and West)
476AD- Last emperor of west is overthrown
Roman Senate then...
Empire: one government that controls many conquered areas
Why do you think roads were so important to such a vast and spread out empire?
Gladiator games in the Colosseum served as entertainment for the masses, and a reminder of Rome's strength and power.
Spread of Christianity
Why Rome is Important
Preserved Greek culture and knowledge
Principles of law influenced later societies (equality, fair trial, etc.)
Architecture and engineering inspired later societies
Latin influenced European languages
Spread of Christianity in Europe
Diaspora: displacement of people from their homeland
Always remember... "the DOME is from ROME"
Greek style columns
Aqueducts in Barcelona today